Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, desiring to prepare for His dwelling place a holy church. And a holy house, having sent His angels to the righteous Joachim and Anna, from whom He willed that His Mother should come forth. After the flesh, beforehand proclaimed the virgin birth. To testify to the virgin birth.
The Immaculate Conception is celebrated on 9 December and it is the Feast where the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived and born. Not, as some say, at seven months or without man, but at nine months and of union with man. For Christ alone was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, unveiled and unmixed. As He alone knows, without the will of the flesh. He, being perfect God, has taken upon Himself all the things of His bodily nature, as He built and fashioned the flesh of men from the beginning.
This day, therefore, we celebrate, as one in which we commemorate the news given by the angel to St. Anne., To whom he announced the holy conception of the Blessed Mother of Christ. St. Anne had her roots in the family of Levi. Being the last-born daughter of the great priest Matan and his wife Mary. Anna had two other sisters, Mary and Sovi. Who, having been married in Bethlehem, gave birth to Elizabeth. The mother of St John the Baptist, who was a second cousin of the Saviour.
What does the Bible say about Immaculate Conception?
Anna married the wise Joachim of Galilee and gave birth to Mary, the Mother of God, only in old age and after much prayer. “The holy and righteous Godly parents Joachim and Anna are often invoked in prayer by couples who fail to have children.
The Bible says about the Immaculate Conception that once she had fulfilled her mission of giving birth to the Mother of God, whom God had appointed to be the holiest woman in the human race, St. Anne spent the rest of her life in prayer, fasting and doing good works for the afflicted. At the age of 69, the Mother of God gave her soul in peace. At the age of 11, the Virgin Mary had already been orphaned, both parents having already moved on to the Lord. Saint Anne is celebrated in the Orthodox Church on three distinct dates, marking three aspects of her personality.
On 25 July is the commemoration of St Anne’s Adoration, marking the end of her holy earthly life and her move to eternal heavenly joy. On 9 September, the day immediately following the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, she is celebrated together with Saint and Saint Joachim as the Virgin’s parents.
Read also: Who is Saint Mary? Was Mary a virgin?
What is the meaning of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
God, having made all things out of nothing, made the barren womb to bring forth fruit, and made her who had lived childless in her life a mother of children, with praise giving her as a worthy end of her just request. From Anna God Himself was to come forth a bearer of flesh for the second birth of the world; for it pleased the wise and mediatorial parents of men to give birth to a daughter Mary, the Foremost of all nations, foreordained and chosen.
The real meaning of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is that Saint Mary was born and programmed to be the biblical Birth Mother of The Son of God. This is why consistory is held in the honorable house of the Mother of God, which is in Svorani, near her holy church. Let the history of this birth be sought in September, on the ninth day, in the lives of the Saints and Righteous Fathers Joachim and Anna. There it is written more fully about the parents who conceived her and their daughter. Whoever will, may read it, for it is fitting for the present feast.
Also on this feast day, the Church commemorates the Holy Prophetess Anna who, for her many prayers and strong faith, gave birth after many years of infertility to the holy prophet Samuel and three other sons and three daughters.
Is Feast of Immaculate Conception a holy day?
We must not forget that Saint Joachim was of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of King David. Anna was the daughter of Matan the priest, of the tribe of Levi. Anna married Joachim in Nazareth and her old age she gave birth to the Mother of God. The two of them lived a pure life before God and at every feast. They took two parts of their earnings to give to the poor and God.
The Immaculate Conception is a holy day because it is the moment when God chooses His Holy Place. Where Jesus Christ Himself was to dwell, uniting the divine with the human, heaven with earth. The Mother of God becoming the gateway to heaven and the uplifting of fallen human beings.
The Conception of the Virgin Mary was announced to Saints Joachim and Anna by the Archangel Gabriel. Who came down to each of them to announce the miracle of having children in old age. Out of love for mankind, God made the unformed womb of Anna fruitful. And at the appointed time she gave birth to a female child, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Why is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception not a Holy Day of Obligation?
Joachim and Anna lived quietly and faithfully, using only a third of their income for themselves. And giving a third to the poor and a third to the Temple, they were very wealthy. Because they were childless, Joachim and Anna were subject to public scorn, for among the Jews families who had no children were considered to be without a blessing from God. Because of their sins or as an inheritance from their ancestors.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is not a Holy Day of Obligation because Saint Mary was born to give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the World. Through the Mother of God, the bonds of Adam began to be loosed and the world was delivered from deceit. For her the prophets of the Old Testament rejoiced, expecting that from her the Saviour Jesus Christ would be born.
We learn from the Sinaxar that one day when they were old men, they came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord. A Jew of the tribe of Reuben humiliated good Joachim while he was in the temple by saying to him: Why do you bring your gifts before others? You are unworthy because you have no children, for who knows what hidden sins.
“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he indeed has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
Luke 1:46-49 (NIV)
What is the Immaculate Conception and why is it important?
The misinterpretation of the Virgin Mary’s conception led to the first Mariological innovation of the “immaculate conception” in the Roman Catholic Church. So in the writings of Paschasius Radbert. According to the dogma of the “immaculate conception”, also the Mother of God was free from ancestral sin. Being born like the Saviour, through the shadow of the Holy Spirit. And indeed not through the bodily union.
The Immaculate Conception is the day on which Saint Anne was announced that she would give birth to the Birth of God. And it is important because on this day the bonds of sonship are loosened; for God, hearing Joachim and Anne. Above all hope, made it clear to them that they would give birth to the daughter of God. Of whom the Unborn One was born, becoming man. Commanding the angel to cry to her: Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!
Saints Joachim and Anne are depicted as follows: the right-handed Joachim is depicted as old, grey, with around beard. Saint Anne is depicted as old, wearing a red waistcoat and a green himation. They are depicted in various scenes from the life of Our Lady: her conception, her birth. Her blessing by the priests, and Our Lady’s Entrance into the Church.
Read also about Mary Magdalene: Was Mary Magdalene married to Jesus? What was Mary Magdalene in the Bible?
Why Do We Celebrate the Immaculate Conception?
Indeed, every year, on December 9, we celebrate the moment of the birth of the Virgin Mary by Saint Anne. Also as a natural follow-up to this day, nine months later, on 8 September. We celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The day of the Virgin Mary’s birth is a feast without observance. So whose syntax sheds light on what is celebrated on this date: Our Lord and our God, desiring to make for Himself a glorious church. And a holy house for His dwelling, sent His angel to the righteous Joachim and Anna, for of them His Mother was to be born after the flesh. And beforehand He showed that He would be with childless and childless one. That His birth of the Blessed Virgin might be made true.
We Celebrate the Immaculate Conception because, without this feast, Jesus would not have been born. Although the honoring of Saints Joachim and Anna began with the establishment of the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The celebration of the Immaculate Conception did not spread until the 10th century, and in 1166. Basil Manuel I Comnenus, by imperial decree, included its celebration in the liturgical calendar of the Church of Constantinople.
It is interesting to point out that the two spouses did not come together out of voluptuous. Bodily pleasure, but both received the message that God had lifted the curse of foolishness. And that the conjugal encounter was the only way in which they could fulfill what God had blessed.
- St. Anna came from the Jewish priestly tribe of Levi. She was the youngest daughter of the priest Matihian of the line of Aaron. Thus fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah would have a double lineage: royal and priestly.
- Because they were childless, Joachim and Anna were subject to public opprobrium. Since among the Jews families who had no children were considered to be without God’s blessing. Because of their sins or the sins of their ancestors.
- One day, on a great feast day, the servant woman Judith, seeing St. Anne weeping again. Approached her and said to her, “It is not good to grieve now. For the day of the Lord has come.”
The Holy Prophetess Anna, the mother of the Prophet Samuel, was also part of this story, she was originally from the town of Artem, in Mount Ephraim. Because she was barren and did not bear children, her husband took another wife, Fenanah, with whom he bore children.
Hearing her prayers, God sends His angel to announce to Saint Anna that she will have a child. Joachim knew nothing yet, for he was in the midst of his flock, were, saddened, he had gone to be alone. Hearing the news of joy, he returned home with hope in God.